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About Paul

Unique selections of books from our book buyer Paul Ingram. He compiles great lists of books on varying topics.

If you have any requests for recommendations, send Paul an email at paul@prairielights.com

  • Paul's Corner: National Poetry Month

    Selected Poems Thomas Hardy

    To Lizbie Browne

    by Thomas Hardy from Selected Poems

    I
    Dear Lizbie Browne,
    Where are you now?
    In sun, in rain? -
    Or is your brow
    Past joy, past pain,
    Dear Lizbie Browne?
     
    II
    Sweet Lizbie Browne,
    How you could smile,
    How you could sing! -
    How archly wile
    In glance-giving,
    Sweet Lizbie Browne!
     
    III
    And, Lizbie Browne,
    Who else had hair
    Bay-red as yours,
    Or flesh so fair
    Bred out of doors,
    Sweet Lizbie Browne?
     
    IV
    When, Lizbie Browne,
    You had just begun
    To be endeared
    By stealth to one,
    You disappeared,
    My Lizbie Browne!
     
    V
    Ay, Lizbie Browne,
    So swift your life,
    And mine so slow,
    You were a wife
    Ere I could show
    Love, Lizbie Browne.
     
    VI
    Still, Lizbie Browne,
    You won, they said,
    The best of men
    When you were wed….
    Where went you then,
    O Lizbie Browne?
     
    VII
    Dear Lizbie Browne,
    I should have thought,
    'Girls ripen fast,'
    And coaxed and caught
    You ere you passed,
    Dear Lizbie Browne!
     
    VIII
    But, Lizbie Browne,
    I let you slip;
    Shaped not a sign;
    Touched never your lip
    With lip of mine,
    Lost Lizbie Browne!
     
    IX
    So, Lizbie Browne,
    When on a day
    Men speak of me
    As not, you'll say,
    'And who was he?' -
    Yes, Lizbie Browne!

     

  • Paul's Corner: The Sellout by Paul Beatty

    The Sellout Paul Beatty

    The Sellout
    by Paul Beatty

    “This may be hard to believe, coming from a black man, but I’ve never stolen anything. Never cheated on my taxes or at cards. Never snuck into the movies or failed to give back the extra change to a drugstore cashier indifferent to the ways of mercantilism and minimum-wage expectations. I’ve never burgled a house. Held up a liquor store. Never boarded a crowded bus or subway car, sat in a seat reserved for the elderly, pulled out my gigantic penis and masturbated to satisfaction with a perverted, yet somehow crestfallen, look on my face. But here I am, in the cavernous chambers of the Supreme Court of the United States of America, my car illegally and somewhat ironically parked on Constitution Avenue, my hands cuffed and crossed behind my back, might right to remain silent long since waived and said goodbye to as I sit in a thickly padded chair that, much like this country, isn’t quite as comfortable as it looks.”

    So begins a novel I began last night, a novel at which I’m still chuckling and at which I feel I may be chuckling out the week. Winner of this year’s New York Book Critic’s Circle award for Fiction. Political, poetic, imaginative, satirical, and funny on every page.  
    Just available in paperback from Picador at $16.00.
    You are so dumb if you don’t read this right away.  I might forgive you, but God won’t.

    PAUL

  • Paul's Poetry Month: Filling Station by Elizabeth Bishop

    The Complete Poems, 1927-1979 Elizabeth Bishop

    Filling Station
    By Elizabeth Bishop

    Oh, but it is dirty!
    —this little filling station,
    oil-soaked, oil-permeated
    to a disturbing, over-all
    black translucency.
    Be careful with that match!

    Father wears a dirty,
    oil-soaked monkey suit
    that cuts him under the arms,
    and several quick and saucy
    and greasy sons assist him
    (it’s a family filling station),
    all quite thoroughly dirty.

    Do they live in the station?
    It has a cement porch
    behind the pumps, and on it
    a set of crushed and grease-
    impregnated wickerwork;
    on the wicker sofa
    a dirty dog, quite comfy.

    Some comic books provide
    the only note of color—
    of certain color. They lie
    upon a big dim doily
    draping a taboret
    (part of the set), beside
    a big hirsute begonia.

    Why the extraneous plant?
    Why the taboret?
    Why, oh why, the doily?
    (Embroidered in daisy stitch
    with marguerites, I think,
    and heavy with gray crochet.)

    Somebody embroidered the doily.
    Somebody waters the plant,
    or oils it, maybe. Somebody
    arranges the rows of cans
    so that they softly say:
    esso—so—so—so
    to high-strung automobiles.
    Somebody loves us all.

     

    "Filling Station" is found in The Complete Poems, 1927-1979 by Elizabeth Bishop